You will need :
- White embroidery thread (100% cotton). 5 sets of 30 strands, each strand measuring 24" + 6 extra strands, each measuring about 4" + 5 extra strands, each measuring about 12"
- 4" long piece of cardboard (width doesn't matter)
- Dye (RIT dye is available at Joann’s or Michaels for around $2.50)
- Table salt
- A bucket of cold water
- Hot water
- Rubber gloves
- 5 small recipients, plastic or metal. If you can't find 5, one will be enough. They need to be bigger that your tassels (i.e. at least about 2" in height).
- Teaspoon or small syringe
- Chain necklace
STEP 1 : MAKE FIVE TASSELS
1. Start with a set of 30 strands, each strand measuring 24". Wrap the thread tightly around the cardboard.
2. Gently pull the thread off the cardboard.
3. Tie the center with an extra piece of thread (about 4" long).
4. Cut the loop ends at both sides.
5. Pull down the fringe and shape your tassel.
6. Take an extra strand, about 12" long. Wrap it around your tassel (about 0.4" from the top), knot firmly and trim.
7. Trim to make the fringe on the bottom clean and straight. Notice that I haven't been very successful at that ;)
8. Cut the top thread (the one we used to tie the center at step 3).
9. Repeat all these steps to make 5 tassels. Dont' worry : once you've made the first one, you'll be able to whip a bunch out in no time.
STEP TWO : DYE THE TASSELS
If you have five recipients, you can dye your five tassels simultaneously. If you have only one recipient, just dye your tassels one by one.
1. Fill each of your recipients with about one table spoon of salt. Salt will help drive the dye onto the fabric.
2. Put your rubber gloves on, as you're going to pour the dye. If you have a syringe, you will be able to be very precise measuring the quantity of dye, but using a spoon will work very well too. I tried both and both went fine!
3. In the first recipient, pour just a few drops : about 0.5ml or 1/10 teaspoon. Pour dye in all recipients at an increasing progression, at a difference of about 0.5ml each time. The last recipient should have a quantity of dye of about half a teaspoon.
4. Now fill each recipient with hot water and wait a few seconds for the salt to dissolve in the water.
5. Place each tassel in each recipient, starting by the last recipient (the one that contains the largest quantity of dye) making sure the tassels are fully immersed.
3. Wait just a few seconds before starting to take out the lightest shade first. Wash out the excess dye in your bucket of cold water. Then take out the next tassel, and repeat until all five have been washed out. Let them dry (mine took about 3 hours to dry).
STEP THREE : MAKE THE NECKLACE
Insert an extra piece of embroidery thread through the eye of the needle, and tie it to the chain, or the clasp of the chain. Use the needle to guide the chain through the top loop of each tassel.
You are Done!